Weekly Cell Phone News in Review–October 12, 2015

cell phone update

Samsung’s Mobile Payment Acquisition LoopPay Breached by Hackers
A report on Wednesday revealed that LoopPay, the U.S.-created mobile payment system acquired by Samsung in February, was the target of a hacker attack in March. But the most interesting wrinkle in the story is the fact that the hackers who executed the attack on the South Korea-based company appear to be from China, thus framing the incident as a case of international, possibly corporate, espionage, rather than just another hack. The breach was discovered in August, giving the hackers a full five months access to the network. However, Samsung, which is using the LoopPay technology to roll out Samsung Pay, a would-be Apple Pay competitor, claims that the breach did not extend to Samsung’s own computer network. Story by Adario Strange for Mashable.

Samsung Pay Potentially Beats Apple Pay in Numbers
The three major launches in mobile payments would be Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay—each competing for their share of the nascent market. But Samsung already has a head start with the launch of the new Samsung Pay in the U.S. It can be used at a lot more merchant and trading locations than its competitors, thanks to support for both contactless payments and magnetic strips. The devices supported by Samsung Pay are Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5. Along with NFC, Samsung also utilizes Magnetic Source Transmission or MFT technology which emits a particular unique magnetic code to make magnetic swipe credit facilities work as well. This technology was pioneered by LoopPay, which Samsung acquired back in February to make use of this technology and stay ahead of the competition. The availability of more options to pay is a huge advantage, as the other options are all NFC-only, and the world has not adapted to the new mode of contactless payment yet. Story by Debarshi Nayak for Android Headlines.

How the iPhone Makes More Money than All Other Smartphone Combined
Apple makes 90 percent of all profit within the mobile industry, with Korean rival Samsung mopping up the rest, according to a new report. Apple’s commitment to producing high-end handsets with unashamedly high price tags has translated into utter dominance of the industry’s profits, leaving Samsung, LG, Sony and Microsoft trailing behind. Apple and Samsung handsets account for more than one in three smartphone sales, and by far the majority of industry profits, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In recent years HTC, LG and Sony’s smartphone sales have slumped, and Samsung’s have also suffered under increasing pressure from native brands in China and India at the cheaper end of the market, where Xiaomi and Micromax are hugely popular. Story by Rhiannon Williams for The Telegraph.

Verizon to Add $20 to Grandfathered Unlimited Data Plans
Verizon is planning to raise the price of unlimited data plans from $29.99 to $49.99 per month. It’s yet another sign the company’s trying to force people to let go of their highly prized plans that remain only because they were grandfathered in. Verizon customers will see the increase starting on monthly bills that arrive on Nov. 15 or later. Phones now gobble data as they stream social media, videos, music. In recent years, smart and frugal people have resisted upgrading to limited data plans. Any data cap is easily surpassed, and extra expensive fees kick in. That’s why major carriers have done away with unlimited data. It hogs their network. Instituting limits lets them better manage the network’s bandwidth. Verizon has already exerted some force on this band of unlimited data resistance fighters. It stopped offering unlimited data plans in 2011, so it wouldn’t renew two-year contracts. These people continued on Verizon on a month-to-month basis, and they also had to pay full price for new phones. Story by Jose Pagliery for CNN Money.

You’re More Negative and Egotistical When You Tweet from Your Phone
You can’t spell Twitter without an “i”—or tweet, it seems, without a me, my, or mine. Everyone already knows that social media is a great place for narcissists. The news: our mobile phones might be enabling our egos. A new study just published in the Journal of Communication finds that tweets sent from smartphones are 25% more negative than tweets sent from computers. Tweets from phones were also more egotistical. Story by Mandy Oaklander for Time.

Beware of the One Ring Cell Phone Scam
The Louisiana state Attorney General’s Office is warning residents about a “one-ring phone scam,” which uses auto-dialers to target cell phone numbers across the country. The danger to consumers is not in receiving the call, but in calling back. Scammers let the phone ring once and then hang up, prompting a missed call notification on phones. When an intended victim returns the call, police say they hear a message like “You’ve reached the operator, please hold,” while being slammed by a hefty per-minute charge on top of an international rate. Police say the calls come from phone numbers with three-digit area codes that look like they are from within the U.S., but are actually associated with international phone numbers. Don’t know the number calling you? Then don’t return the call. Story by KLFY.

Existing Windows Phones will Start Getting Windows 10 in December
Microsoft’s new Lumias 950 and 950 XL packed with Windows 10 will ship in November. If you’ve already got a Windows Phone in need of a Windows 10 update, however, it looks like you’ll be waiting until almost the end of the year. Responding to questions on the Lumia Facebook page, Microsoft said broad availability for Windows 10 on mobile phones will start in December. The company did not specify when the updates would roll out that month. Story by Ian Paul for PC World.

100 Million Women in Developing Countries to Receive Free Cell Phones
Worldwide, 300 million fewer women than men own a cell phone. a disparity that deprives women of educational, health and financial opportunities. To level the playing field, two major companies have committed to providing 100 million women with mobile technology over the next five years. Tata Communications and Mastercard announced their plan to join up in order to bring the technology to women in need at this year’s Clinton Global Initiative. They’re launching the program in India, Nigeria, Indonesia and Guatemala, with the goal of initially targeting 25,000 women. Giving a woman in a developing country access to such technology plays a key role in her educational development, financial independence and overall well-being. Story by Eleanor Goldberg for the Huffington Post.

Why is it Illegal in South Korea to Silence Mobile Phone Camera Sounds?
Players on both teams at this week’s Presidents Cup are bracing for a lot of distracting noise–not only from potentially rowdy South Korean fans but also from their mobile phone cameras. It’s illegal in South Korea for any mobile phone maker to sell a phone that allows a user to silence the faux shutter sound on their mobile phone cameras, so that means overzealous fans could distract players by taking pictures during their swings. All of the players have been made aware of the law, and they’ve experienced the potential distraction first-hand during practice rounds. The good news is that so many fans may be taking pictures at once that the collective sounds may simply blend into the background, like white noise. Story in Golf News Net.

About John Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of SaveOnPhone.com. He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers long distance and cell phone topics for SaveOnPhone.